Queen’s love of horses is revealed as she feeds an ‘extraordinary’ mare

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The Queen’s lifelong love of horses is shown in new, never-before-seen footage as she lovingly pets and feeds the animals at Sandringham.

The 96-year-old monarch described one of the horses as an “extraordinary girl” and is said to say she wonders what is on the creature’s mind.

The clips, which were filmed at the Royal Stud in Sandringham in April, will be shown in a special feature as part of ITV’s Platinum Jubilee coverage on Saturday.

The Queen, a keen horse racing fan, will not be attending the Epsom Derby this weekend but will be watching on TV.

In the clips, she observed various horses and foals along with her trusted bloodstock and racing advisor, John Warren.

Mr Warren, who has been an adviser to the monarch for more than 13 years and also represents other leading horse owners from around the world, has been appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) in the Queen’s most recent honours.

The Queen's love of horses is revealed in new, never-before-seen footage of her lovingly petting and feeding the animals at Sandringham.

The clips will be shown in a special feature of ITV’s Platinum Jubilee coverage on Saturday (Image: ITV Racing)

Gently stroking the fur of one of the horses, the Queen is heard to say: “Well, it must have been three or four years since she came to Windsor Court, but behaved as if she had always been there.”

Admiring the horse, she added, “Exceptional girl, isn’t she?”

Another clip showed the Queen asking a horse, “Would you like another?” before you pick a carrot from a bowl and feed it.

Later, as she watches two horses stroll side by side in the yard, the Queen is heard to say, “I often wonder what’s on her mind.”

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Ryan Moore also star in the ITV special, starring Ed Chamberlin, filmed at The Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket in May.

Speaking on the ITV feature, Mr Moore praised the Queen for letting him drive with “complete freedom”.

He said: “There’s no pressure at all… she’s always let me ride completely free and it’s been a great honor for me.”

In May, the Queen attended the Windsor Horse Show and was also the guest of honor at the equestrian extravaganza A Gallop Through History, the first major event of the centenary celebrations.

In his homily for the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Archbishop of York compared the monarch’s well-known love of horse racing to her long reign and suggested that this “reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom”. .

Queen Elizabeth II exchanges photos with Jane Rawden (right) from the Fell Pony Society at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor. Picture date: Friday May 13, 2022. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II swaps photos with Jane Rawden (right) from the Fell Pony Society at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Image: PA)

Royal Windsor Horse Show - Day 2

The Queen watches her horse Balmoral Leia win the Horse & Hound Mountain & Moorland Supreme In Hand Championship (Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Horses were the Queen’s lifelong passion

More than any other interest, horses and ponies were the Queen’s passion throughout her long life.

She shared the monarch’s love of horses with her mother and has been breeding and running racehorses for more than 60 years.

Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four of the five flat race classics – the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – and she only eluded the Derby.

The monarch’s horse, Dunfermline, ridden by jockey Willie Carson, gave the Queen her most famous victory, the triumph at the Oaks and St Leger in her Silver Jubilee year, 1977.

File photo dated 21/04/79 of Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Andrew, strolling through the shops at the Badminton Horse Trials on her 53rd birthday. Issue date: Sunday January 30, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Jubilee HighsLows. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Andrew, strolls through the Badminton Horse Trials shops on her 53rd birthday (Image: PA)

In recent years, the Queen made sporting history when she became the first reigning monarch to win the Royal Ascot’s Gold Cup with her purebred Estimate in 2013.

She has also had more than 20 wins at Royal Ascot – one of the most important events of the racing season.

From early childhood, the queen was surrounded by horses and relatives who owned, rode and talked about her.

Her first recorded riding lesson was in January 1930 at the private riding school at Buckingham Palace Mews when she was three years old.

Princess Elizabeth feeds a horse from a trophy cup in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire on May 30, 1944. The horse wears the rosette for 1st prize at the 1944 Royal Windsor Horse Show. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Elizabeth feeding a horse from a trophy cup in the grounds of Windsor Castle in 1944 (Photo: Getty Images/Hulton Royals Collection)

When she was five, the Queen Mother took her to a meeting of the Pytchley Hounds at Boughton Cover on Peggy, a Shetland pony given to King George V when she was four by her grandfather.

After becoming sovereign in February 1952, the Queen inherited the royal colors: crimson, gold trim, scarlet sleeves, black velvet cap with gold fringes.

Her first winner as queen came just months later when Choir Boy passed the winner’s post ahead of the field to capture the Wilburton Handicap at Newmarket in May.

The next few years were golden times for her horses and in 1954 and again in 1957 she was named Leading Winner Owner.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 17: Queen Elizabeth Ll smiles as she reviews the horse mounted troops at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Queen smiles as she surveys horse-mounted troops at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

In the decades that followed, she pursued her keen interest in horse breeding, sending her mares to stud farms around the world and raising animals at home.

The Queen’s approximately 180 horses and ponies are kept at various royal residences and stables from Sandringham to Balmoral.

The monarch takes a keen interest in her breeding and training and is respected for her knowledge of the horse world.

But the head of state famously doesn’t gamble and seems to enjoy watching the development and competition of their horses.

The Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes, who was interviewed a few years ago for a BBC documentary about the monarch’s passion for horse racing, said: ‘Look, I think that early on, when she became queen, I think she sacrifice yourself had to have an awful lot of emotions and thoughts about the future and everything else.

“But I think with horses it’s a different world as it just reduces you to the person in relation to the animal and you’re not a queen, you’re just a human being.”

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Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 2022

Dust off your Union Jack bunting, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee is finally here.

The celebrations, which will take place from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June, will mark Her Majesty’s record-breaking 70th anniversary on the throne.

There will be street parties, concerts and other special events across the UK attended by the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family. Queen's love of horses is revealed as she feeds an 'extraordinary' mare

Justin Scacco

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